• August 9, 2020

LANDGRAF: Happy Father’s Day - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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LANDGRAF: Happy Father’s Day

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Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2020 2:45 am

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in West Texas, especially my dad, John Landgraf!

For one reason or another, many dads have been home more often in recent months. For some, that has provided the opportunity to complete projects around the house. Others have become substitute history and math teachers. And a few of us have decided to sport a quarantine beard.

But one thing just about every dad has had recently is simply more time with their kids. And despite all of the negativity that continues to swirl around these days, I will forever be thankful for the extra time the chaos has given me with my young daughter.

It has been an overwhelming joy to watch her play and learn during some of her last few months before Kindergarten. Had it not been for a string of unforeseen and unfortunate events in 2020, I would have spent much of this time in the office or traveling around the state to attend various committee hearings. Instead, we’ve been blessed with extra time together at home and, thanks to technology, haven’t missed a beat while working remotely.

I’m under no illusion that everyone has a chance to work remotely, or to work at all. Many fathers reading this here in the Permian Basin have been forced out of work through no fault of their own. Let me encourage you: Texas is prepared to weather this economic storm better than any other state. We will not fall as far as others, and we will bounce back faster than anyone. It is already happening, as drilling permits are currently on the rise in several West Texas counties.

For the most part, kids getting to spend more time with their parents is a really good thing, even during hard times like these. But that is not always the case. Instances of child and domestic abuse have risen during the last several months, and the number of children placed in the state’s care has grown.

So, this Father’s Day, whether you are an empty nester, a father of three elementary schoolers, or just someone with a lot of love to give, please give some thought to becoming a foster parent. In my time as state representative, I have come to realize that one of the state’s biggest problems is providing adequate care for our foster youth. Every father is a hero in their children’s eyes. Our foster kids need heroes.

For more information online about becoming a foster parent, visit: tinyurl.com/6sh88gv

God bless Texas!

Odessa, TX

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